We estimate that there are approximately 500,000 to 1 million people with prurigo nodularis in the United States. Prurigo nodularis is a chronic skin disorder affecting primarily older adults and is characterized by multiple, firm, itchy nodules typically found on a patient’s arms, legs and trunk.
Prurigo nodularis results from a vicious cycle of repeated itching and scratching leading to formation of raised, inflamed skin nodules that can develop sores or become hard and crusty. The itching sensation in prurigo nodularis is extreme and often leads to scratching to the point of bleeding or pain.
Prurigo nodularis may be associated with a variety of dermatologic and systemic diseases such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, diabetes, chronic renal failure and HIV infection. No treatment for prurigo nodularis has been approved in the United States or Europe. A high priority in any treatment for prurigo nodularis is to identify and address any underlying cause of itching. However, specific trigger factors for the development of prurigo nodularis in an individual patient may be difficult to identify.
Treatment of prurigo nodularis typically involves a multifaceted approach to treat the lesions and reduce itch. Therapies may include corticosteroids and other immunosuppressive or anti‑inflammatory treatments, phototherapy and agents such as gabapentin and Lyrica (pregabalin). Prurigo nodularis is often treatment resistant with high recurrence rates.